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Five benefits of diet and exercise in recovery

Here are five common benefits of diet and exercise when dealing with addiction.

Addiction, or “substance use disorder,” is a very serious problem that affects millions of families and loved ones in our country each year. The good news is there are proven approaches to effectively treat addiction that can offer the best hope for a lasting recovery. Research is building around how diet and exercise, when combined with a formal treatment regimen, can be key components to this treatable chronic condition. 

Here are five common benefits of diet and exercise when dealing with addiction: 

  1. Provides structure and routine

    Exercising routinely, not the intensity or duration, is the key to aiding in addiction recovery. Not only can it help replace unhealthy habits with productive ones, but also promote a sense of connection and the opportunity to form positive social interactions.

  2. Improves self-confidence

    One surprising finding about exercise is the mere act of exercise, of having that structure and routine, can boost one’s self-esteem and self-worth. Being physically active regularly and nurturing the body with a healthy diet can not only help boost the “feel good” hormones, but also help promote a positive self-image.

  3. Refocuses attention away from temptations

    Diet and exercise can help break the cycle of negative thoughts that can lead to destructive habits and cravings. These activities are replaced with not only self-healing therapies, but also the critical coping strategies necessary when temptations arise.

  4. Helps fight anxiety and depression

    The term “runner’s high” comes from those feel-good endorphins athletes and exercise enthusiasts can get from natural, cannabis-like chemicals released by the brain during exercise. While not everyone is training for the next marathon, exercise and physical activity can help improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression—which are common co-occurring disorders with addiction and triggers for relapse.

  5. Improves treatment program efficacy

    Exercise can be particularly effective when combined with formal treatment, and has shown promising benefits for individuals who otherwise do not suffer from physical health issues (obesity, body dysmorphia, anorexia, etc.)

Research studies point to the effects of physical exercise for both adults and teens in helping to stave off depression. While not conclusive, exercise appears to reduce depression, especially for those also receiving treatment. 

If you or a loved one are showing signs of substance use disorder and/or would like more information on treatment program options, take the first step toward recovery and call Rosecrance at 866.928.5278.

Get Help Now (866) 330-8729